Landscapes spring to life through the eyes of Southeast Asian artists
"Singapore River" by NAFA's founding principal Lim Hak Tai, who was also the initiator of the unique Nanyang style of art, illustrates the rural-urban dichotomy of the iconic river in the 1950s. Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Collection.
From 12 to 31 March, a compelling showcase of art works await visitors to the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)'s Lim Hak Tai Gallery. Impressions in Southeast Asia features a selection of 25 landscapes by Southeast Asian and Asian artists from the academy's permanent collection and private collection, some of which were created as early as 1944.
These masterpieces capture images of Southeast Asia, as well as the western and northern hemispheres, expertly encapsulating a time of transformation from rural communities to urban societies. As Dr. Bridget Tracy Tan, Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries, shares, "The light in our region conditions the way we see shapes and colours, and tell our stories. Nothing can imitate a tropical light, and its associated sensibility." She also expresses, "How we use art to describe whatever landscape we wish to image, can offer a unique sensibility."
The exhibition features works by celebrated pioneer artists including Lim Hak Tai and Chen Chong Swee, former NAFA's principal Ho Kah Leong, teacher and alumnus Lim Mu Hue, Malaysian watercolourist Abdullah Ariff and Cultural Medallion recipients Thomas Yeo and Ong Kim Seng.
Impressions in Southeast Asia invites audiences to experience and redefine how these artists conceived and imaged their landscapes and how they transferred those observations onto their canvas, broadly describing challenges and how Southeast Asians perceive life. Its inspired representations transcend academic traditions and is characterised by its unique usage of different mediums, forms, colours and concepts, prevailing as a pillar in distinguishing its artistic flair and evolution.
Impressions in Southeast Asia
12 - 31 March 2019
Lim Hak Tai Gallery, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
11am - 7pm
Closed every Monday
Annex A - Selected Works